Monday finish on tap at Puerto Rico Open

By Associated PressMarch 15, 2010, 3:46 am

2010 Puerto Rico OpenRIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico – Chad Collins is getting used to surging the top of the Puerto Rico Open leaderboard with his strong short game just before darkness suspends play in the rain-delayed competition.

Just before the horn suspended third-round play Sunday, Collins birdied the par-5 fifth hole as night descended over Trump International Golf Club-Puerto Rico. With the clutch shot, he claimed a share of the lead at 12 under with Kevin Streelman, who also made a last-minute birdie on the par-4 seventh hole.

“Just late in the day, and I guess I’m pretty loose,” Collins said after staying atop the leaderboard for the second straight day on the scenic par-72 course framed by the Atlantic and the tropical El Yunque rain forest.

On Saturday, Collins eagled the par-5 second hole to top the leaderboard at 9 under before second-round play was suspended. The former Methodist College player’s strong putting and bunker play are giving him his best position after any round on Tour.

Catch the conclusion of the Puerto Rico Open beginning at 3 p.m. ET Monday on Golf Channel!

Collins finished second on the Nationwide Tour money list in 2009, a year after his rookie season on the PGA Tour.

Derek Lamely, 7 under for 13 holes in the round, was a stroke back at 11 under with Steve Wheatcroft and Kris Blanks. Wheatcroft played six holes in the third round, and Blanks completed seven.

Lamely, No. 4 on the 2009 Nationwide Tour money list, seemed easy to overlook in the Puerto Rico Open until he vaulted up the leaderboard with his Saturday scoring assault. He strung together strong shots from tee to green.

“I’ve got greens like this at home. So for whatever reason, I feel like my lines are good. My speed is pretty good here. Just a good fit,” said Lamely, who tied for 13th last year in the Puerto Rico event.

Lamely credited his Saturday surge with getting more rest lately than he had been.

“My brain’s working a little better. I just think I just jot so beat up there for a little while, just traveling all the time,” he said.

His strategy on Monday? “Make a lot of birdies,” Lamely said.

The Puerto Rico Open got off to a soggy start Thursday, with only 18 players able to tee off that day because of drenching rain. It was the first suspension of play in the history of the young tournament, now in its third year. The weather woes continued Friday.

The tropical course began to dry out Saturday under a day of strong Caribbean sunshine. But because of previous days’ soggy conditions, players were allowed to use preferred lies in the fairways. The maintenance crew worked through the night with squeegees and pumps to sop up the water.

A few players voiced surprise that the course wasn’t soggier than it was, after the deluge leading up to the tournament and the first two day of competition.

“It’s actually surprising how much drier it is. It’s still very wet out there, but it’s getting to the point where we don’t need to take it 15 yards to get out of casual water,” said Australia’s James Nitties, who was in a 6-way tie for sixth place at 10 under.

It also helped that the cut came at 2-under 142, with 70 players moving on to the third round. Among those headed home were Greg Kraft, who won the first Puerto Rico Open in 2008 with a 14-under finish, and the highest ranked player, South Africa’s Rory Sabbatini, No. 55.

Last year’s Puerto Rico Open champ, Michael Bradley, was still in the hunt. He shot 3 under for the day and was tied 12th place at 9 under.

The competition, which was scheduled to end Sunday, will stretch into Monday due to the rain delays. The winner will earn $630,000.

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Fowler (oblique) withdraws from playoff opener

By Will GrayAugust 15, 2018, 8:44 pm

The injury that slowed Rickie Fowler at last week's PGA Championship will keep him out of the first event of the PGA Tour's postseason.

Fowler was reportedly hampered by an oblique injury at Bellerive Country Club, where he started the third round two shots off the lead but faded to a tie for 12th. He confirmed the injury Tuesday in an Instagram post, adding that an MRI revealed a partial tear to his right oblique muscle.

According to Fowler, the injury also affected him at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where he tied for 17th. After receiving the test results, he opted to withdraw from The Northern Trust next week at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey.

"My team and I feel like it's best not to play next week in the Northern Trust," Fowler wrote. "I will be back healthy and competitive ASAP for the FedEx Cup and more than ready for the Ryder Cup!!!"

Fowler is one of eight players who earned automatic spots on the U.S. Ryder Cup team when the qualifying window closed last week. His next opportunity to tee it up would be at the 100-man Dell Technologies Championship, where Fowler won in 2015.

Fowler has 12 top-25 finishes in 18 starts, highlighted by runner-up finishes at both the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in the fall and at the Masters. He is currently 17th in the season-long points race, meaning that he's assured of starts in each of the first three playoff events regardless of performance and in good position to qualify for the 30-man Tour Championship for the fourth time in the last five years.

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Playoff streaks in jeopardy for Garcia, Haas

By Will GrayAugust 15, 2018, 8:12 pm

Since the advent of the FedExCup in 2007, only 13 players have managed to make the playoffs each and every year. But two of the PGA Tour's stalwarts head into the regular-season finale with work to do in order to remain a part of that select fraternity.

Sergio Garcia has rarely had to sweat the top-125 bubble, but the Spaniard enters this week's Wyndham Championship 131st in the current standings. Left with even more work to do is former FedExCup winner Bill Haas, who starts the week in Greensboro 150th.

Garcia got off to a strong start in the spring, sandwiching a pair of top-10 finishes in WGC events around a fourth-place showing at the Valspar Championship. But quality results largely dried up after Garcia missed the cut at the Masters; he has made only two cuts in 10 Tour starts since April, including early exits in all four majors.


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Garcia has some history at Sedgefield Country Club, having won this event in 2012 to break a lengthy U.S. victory drought. He also finished fourth in 2009 but hasn't played the Donald Ross layout since a T-29 finish as the defending champ in 2013.

It's been a difficult year for Haas both on and off the course, as the veteran was involved as a passenger in a car accident on the eve of the Genesis Open that killed the driver. He returned to action three weeks later in Tampa, and he tied for seventh at the RBC Heritage in April. But that remains his lone top-10 finish of the season. Haas has missed 11 cuts including three in a row.

While the bubble will be a fluid target this week at Sedgefield, Garcia likely needs at least a top-20 finish to move into the top 125 while Haas will likely need to finish inside the top 5.

One of the 13 playoff streaks is assured of ending next week, as Luke Donald has missed most of the year with a back injury. Other players to qualify for every Tour postseason include Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker, Charles Howell III, Charley Hoffman and Ryan Moore.

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Airlines lose two sets of Olesen's clubs in 10 days

By Grill Room TeamAugust 15, 2018, 7:50 pm

Commercial airlines losing the golf clubs of a professional golfer is not exactly a groundbreaking story. It happens.

But European Tour pro Thorbjorn Olesen is on quite the roll, losing two sets of clubs and five suitcases in the span of 10 days.

Olesen, the reigning Italian Open champ, claimed his primary set of golf clubs were lost last week. Having little faith they'd be found before this week's Nordea Masters, he decided to bring his backup set for the event in Sweden.

A veteran move by the 28-year-old, unless, of course, those clubs were lost too. And wouldn't you know it:

After pestering the airlines with some A+ GIFs, Olesen was reunited with at least one of his sets and was back in action on Wednesday.

He also still plans on giving his golf bag away to some lucky follower, provided it's not lost again in transit. Something he's no longer taking for granted.

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Podcast: Brandel compares Tiger and Hogan's comebacks

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 15, 2018, 6:48 pm

Tiger Woods on Sunday at Bellerive recorded his seventh runner-up finish in a major and his first in nine years.

A favorite guest of the Golf Channel Podcast, Brandel Chamblee joins host Will Gray to compare and contrast Tiger's return to competitive golf with that of Ben Hogan and Babe Didrikson Zaharias in the 1950s.

Chamblee also discusses Brooks Koepka's major dominance, Bellerive as a major venue, Tiger and Phil as Ryder Cup locks, and who else might be in line to receive Jim Furyk and Thomas Bjorn's remaining captain's picks.

Finally, Brandel shares what it was it was like to qualify for the Senior Open Championship and compete for a major title on the Old Course at St. Andrews. Listen here: